Viewing posts from June, 2018
Posted by: Onno van Nijf 2 years, 1 month ago
We have just received funding for our project Connecting the Greeks: multi-scalar festivals in the Hellenistic world. We shall investigate the role of agonistic festivals in the crucial timeframe from the third to the first centuries BC when festivals with athletic and cultural contests flourished as never before. This festival explosion was not simply the outcome of the spread of Greek civilization, but it was rather a major contributor to the process of identity creation at local regional and global levels, and to the growing interconnectivity of the Hellenistic world. This project aims to subject this multi-scalar festival culture to a rigorous analysis with innovative tools, theories and methods derived from social sciences and digital humanities, including network analysis and agent-based modelling. There will be a central role for the connected contests database. One focus area will be the development of a mapping tool to display the mobility of athletes and performers between festivals. We shall also be recruiting two PhD students starting early 2019 to investigate the festivals and the representation of Hellenistic rulers and ruler cult, and the development of regional festival networks.
Caldelli's Capitolian victors online
All victors and participants collected by Caldelli (L'Agon Capitolinus. Storia e protagonisti dall'istituzione domizianea al IV secolo, 1993) have been added to the Connected Contests database. Find out all about the strange story of Herakleides, whose dream that he butchered the audience and judges during his performance meant that he would lose - which he did (event ID 30166). Or about the enormously successful Marcus Aurelius Asklepiades (person ID 656), a.k.a. Hermodoros, who quit boxing in his prime (he was 25) because of 'dangers and envious people' in IG XIV 1102.
Spatial Data Support awarded to the Deep-Mapping Sanctuaries project
Christina Williamson's project 'Deep-Mapping Sanctuaries', a subproject of 'Connecting the Greeks', is the recipient of a competitive call for 5 days of support from the Geo-services at the University of Groningen. As a pilot, this support will focus on mapping the experiences of Aelius Aristides in the Asklepieion in Pergamon. See also: https://deepmappingsanctuaries.wordpress.com/2020/03/30/support-grant-from-the-geodienst/
Erfurt students learn about networking with ancient competitors
Where did the victors in the Isthmian games come from in the Hellenistic period? What about the Roman period? What festivals did Pythokles, son of Aristarchos from Hermione, compete in? These were some of the questions that first-year digital humanity/archaeology students in Erfurt were able to answer after an introduction by Christina Williamson in network theory, ancient festivals, and the Connected Contests database. Students were interested to learn about festival culture in the post-classical world, how it spread and how inscriptions provide great sources of data for analyzing relationships ('Those lists aren't as boring as I thought' was overheard). We also learned that exporting files on csv works much better on a laptop than a tablet or smartphone, certainly if you want to do some geo-networking with Palladio! But they enjoyed the interactive component and working with the database. If you want to try out the practicum yourself, the instructions and files are available at https://github.com/cgwilliamson1/connectinggreeks_demo
New Search Option Available
We have added more sophisticated search option. Not only can you specify that you want to have a list of persons, rather than events, you also can use Boolean operators AND & OR. The find results are downloadable in CSV format for further processing. For instructions, click on the search database button.
The Cotswold Olimpicks
Slightly tangential: last month witnessed the celebration of Robert Dover's Cotswolds Olympic games in rustic Chipping Camden in the Cotswolds. These games have been regulalrly celebrated since 1612 and represent a crucial link in between the ancient Olympics and the Modern Games. Onno van Nijf wrote a blog about it (in Dutch), that can be found on www.wetenschap.nu. See also www.olimpickgames.co.uk. Of cousre we would be very interested in finding out how many athletes took part, and where they all came from ...
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